God's Word to His Dying Servant
Numbers 27:12-14
And the LORD said to Moses, Get you up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel.…

The death of Moses was as singular as his life had been. The scene of it, a mountain-top, where he might be alone with God and yet have a wide prospect of the promised land; the manner of it, not by gradual failure of natural strength, but while he was still able to breast the steep mountain side; the mystery of it, such that no man knew where he was buried. Yet underneath this singularity there was much that is often seen in the departure of God's servants, and which we shall find it profitable to contemplate.

I. THE LORD REMINDS HIS DYING SERVANT OF HIS SIN (verse 14). Dying thoughts are serious thoughts, and it would be strange if they did not often turn on the falls and shortcomings of the past life. Thoughts about sin are of two kinds: -

1. There may be the recollection of sin without any knowledge of forgiveness. It was not so that Moses remembered Meribah. The remembrance of unforgiven sin banishes peace. The soul cannot bear to look back, for the past is full of shapes of terror; it cannot bear to look up, for it sees there the face of an offended God; it cannot bear to look forward, for the future is peopled with unknown terrors.

2. There may be the recollection of sin and at the same time an assured persuasion of forgiveness. This is by no means inconsistent with peace. Not that, even thus, the remembrance of sin is pleasant. Moses is put in mind of Meribah to keep him humble. Sin remembered cannot but cause shame; yet it is quite compatible with great peace of mind. Not only so, there is a calm and soul-filling peace which is the fruit of forgiveness, and diffuses itself most abundantly when the soul expatiates on the remembrance at once of its own sin and the Lord's forgiving grace. "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, who forgiveth all thine iniquities."


1. By giving him a sight of the good in store for the Church. It is remarkable how often saints who have spent their strength on some great Christian enterprise, and earnestly desired to see it accomplished before their departure, have been denied this gratification. Moses did not cross the Jordan; David did not see the Temple, nor Daniel the Return, nor John the Baptist the manifestation of Christ's glory. Yet to all those saints there was granted some such view as that which gladdened the eye of Moses on Nebo. He who knows the hearts knew how dear to Moses' heart was the good of Israel. It is an excellent token of grace in the heart when the prospect of good days in store for the Church and cause of God is a cordial in one's last sickness.

2. By telling him of the good and congenial society that awaits him in the other world. "Thy people." When we die we go to God. The ascension of Christ in our nature has filled heaven for us with such a blaze of fresh light that we must ever think of heaven chiefly as a "being with the Lord." Yet it is a precious thought, and full of comfort, that those who fall asleep in Jesus are gathered to their people, their true kindred. Moses goes to be with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, with Joseph, with Miriam and Aaron. - B.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.

WEB: Yahweh said to Moses, "Go up into this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel.

The Man Who Died in His Own Sin
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